Erdos was an extreme case, but most husbands use the same trick to some degree. Build something users love, and spend less than you make. Restaurants with great food seem to prosper no matter what. Chapter 2 of Ansi Common Lisp. So if you’re thinking, I don’t care what he says, I’m going to start a company now, you may be the sort of person who could get away with it. All you need to offer is a better product or service than what people are currently using. And since all the hackers had spent many hours talking to users, we understood online commerce way better than anyone else.

And that statistic is probably not an anomaly. Graham, the ideal startup founder should be at least 23 years old. When you’re a little kid and you’re asked to do something hard, you can cry and say “I can’t do it” and the adults will probably let you off. There are esoteric areas of business that are quite hard, like tax law or the pricing of derivatives, but you don’t need to know about those in a startup. Too inexperienced I once wrote that startup founders should be at least 23, and that people should work for another company for a few years before starting their own. Don’t hire people to fill the gaps in some a priori org chart.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

During the next round of funding, according to Mr. To be self-funding, you have to start as a consulting company, and it’s hard to switch from that to a product company.

There is a threshold you cross. Ideally you want between two and four founders. But I stwrt not to, because that’s implicit in making something customers want.


Why to Not Not Start a Startup

How do you tell? If what you’ve made is version one of a promising startup, so much the better, but the main thing we care about is whether you’re good at making things. Great things happen stzrt a group of employees go out to dinner together, talk over ideas, and then come back to their offices to implement them. I’ve seen a lot become visibly more determined as they get used to running a startup.

Why Startup Hubs Work. One reason I put it there is that I don’t think many people have the physical stamina much past that age.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

They may represent one of those rare, historic shifts in the way wealth is created. A job is the default This leads us to the last and probably most powerful reason people get regular jobs: If you go to work for Microsoft, you can predict fairly accurately what the next few years will be like—all too accurately, in fact.

The Hacker’s Guide to Investors. Google understands a few other things most Web companies still don’t.

Key Lessons from Paul Graham’s Legendary Essay, ‘How to Start a Startup’: Part 3-of-3

There’s a reason we have a distinct word “adult” for people over a certain age. When there are just two or three founders, you know you have to resolve disputes immediately or perish. Graham, this meant the grxhams tenacious, never-let-up, hyper-aggressive attitude of someone who would not be satisfied with anything less than their very best.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

Graham states great ideas are certainly great to have, he also emphasized they should be viewed as merely the starting point.

It’s worth so much to sell stuff to big companies that the people selling them the crap they hos use spend a lot of time and money to do it. And that’s not the worst of it. There’s no concept of office hours in most startups. And if things go well, our descendants will take for granted things we would consider shockingly luxurious.


Don’t do what we did. So we were happy in the end, though the experience probably took several years off my life. Probably because the product was a dog, or never seemed likely to be done, or both. It’s not unusual to get a check within a week based on a half-page agreement. You could sense them squirming on the hook, but you knew there would be no rest for them till they’d signed up.

Graham more people are the sort who should start a company than even realize it. How to Raise Money. Some angels, especially those with technology backgrounds, may be satisfied with a demo and a verbal description of what you plan to do.

Though of course you don’t have to be a CS major to be a hacker; I was a philosophy major in college. We’ve now been doing Y Combinator long enough to have some data about success rates. In some cases you may collaborate with other students, and this is the best way to get to know good hackers.